Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Ghosts (Part 9)

Not once in his entire life had he been somewhere so repulsive. So repugnant. In so many ways he was surprised that the walls were not oozing slime. Since they were not, he could only begin to guess where the stains on the floor had come from.

With all their colors, shapes, and sizes though, he was doing his best to keep away from whatever his imagination cooked up on the matter. Lest he be dared into dreaming up some terrible scenario that he would be forced to live through eternally through his nightmares. So terrible and numerous were the stains that he had been forced to give up on the hope of avoiding them through careful steps. Instead, he would be forced to requisition a new pair of boots once this was all said and done.

Which he would be able to afford. Stars, after this he should be able to afford anything he wanted. Save for a few things that would remain out of his reach. This wouldn't earn him an audience with the Emperor or his pet, but it should earn him a few lunches with his more direct superiors. Should he be so lucky, within a few months perhaps he could be dining with Moffs, all in the hopes of bettering his own career by having bettered their's.

Such was the potential rewards one could hope to reap when taking up tasks that meant dealing with devils. Accordingly, he had taken up the burden of making a deal with a Hutt, to better the Empire's trading and supply along the Outer Rim. Which had kept him away from more comfortable assignments for months now.

Months, all of which had been spent trying to appeal to an oversized slug whose laugh was obnoxious, and whose anger was summoned over the most petty things. So much time had he dedicated to amusing and appealing to the monster that he wasn't sure he would ever be able to escape its reach. Yet in more recent days a light had appeared at the end of the tunnel. Within the next few days, after much convincing, they were to sign over a number of rights to the region, all so that the Hutt could feel a bit safer and a bit richer.

All told, the Empire would benefit the most. Their network of communications and supply lines in this particular section of the Rim was set to grow exponentially, while all the Hutt was set to receive was a promise of protection. A term which had been easy to negotiate, once rumor of an individual with a lust for blood skulking started working its way through the grapevine.

The sooner such things were signed and finished, the better. He had grown tired of residing in the Hutt's home, which was equally as filthy as his hall. Worse still, it was filled to the brim with some of the most deplorable characters he had ever had the displeasure to inhabit space with. Any assortment of killers, whores, black market dealers, and any other kind of shady character had passed through the large drinking hall to deal with the Hutt. When such individuals weren't wasting time he could have spent dealing, he was still forced to sit close to a crowd of drunks that filtered in and out. At times he had even had to go and meet some of them, including handshakes and backslaps, all so that the Hutt could preen over his 'regulars'.

As though the Hutt needed to prove to Gideon that its businesses were successful. Gideon already knew that, as he told the Hutt any time he brought up the subject. Of course they knew his businesses were successful. If they weren't successful, then the Empire wouldn't be here. They would be bothering with slugs that were worth the trouble. Yet the Hutt, with a never ending supply of ego issues, was ever needing to point out such things.

Which made things odd, whenever the Hutt tried to make hints to Gideon about potential gift ideas. And oh what ideas they had been. Throughout his time here, Gideon had delivered gifts worth no less than seven individuals' yearly paychecks. Twi'lek dancers, imported in straight from Ryloth. One of which was a lethan of all things. A rare breed of red twi'lek, the Hutt had certainly been impressed by the notion. Not that he had ceased to ask for things after receiving that prize. No, after that he had requested his favorite pet, who had recently died, be immortalized by a prized taxidermist. His men complained for weeks about how the stench of the dead creature had worked its way into the walls of their ship as they transported it halfway across the galaxy to be stuffed. No amount of cleaning had ever taken the smell out to this day, and Gideon could only assume the ship would be melted down for resources rather than used again after this mission.

So for the song and dance to finally be ending was perhaps the greatest relief he had ever known. To the point where he was waiting for anything that could to wrong to do so.

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